GALION — A lot of items and projects discussed and started in the first half of 2019, were advanced or completed during the last three months of the year.
After a one-year absence, the Galion Oktoberfest made a return to the uptown area. Attendance was boosted by some harder rock acts and good weather. “Mother Nature blessed us,” said organizer Jim Hedges “It was a great weekend. There were no problems anywhere and everybody had a great time. I talked to some of the businesses and they said they had a steady stream of people coming into their stores.” Hedges is already thinking about next year.
In the November general election, with almost no local races were contested, Richard Ivy and Ken Bodkins Sr, were elected to Galion City Council Sr. Shirley Clark and Bill Comerford chose not to run for re-election. Also, Crawford County voters passed a levy to support operations at the Crawford County Justice Center.
Ground was broken on a multi-million apartment development off Carter Drive in Galion. The $4.4 million, 90-unit complex is for moderate to upscale income clientele.
Area residents seeking a one-stop shop for health care received good news when a collaboration was announced between Community Counseling Services and Third Street Family Health Services. Community Counseling, 2458 Stetzer Road, Bucyrus offers mental health care services as well as substance abuse care. Third Street Family Health Services offers preventative and other health care services and announced that it would open an office in the same building where Community Counseling is housed.
“A lot of patients come in and have high blood pressure or diabetes issues, and a ton of other medical issues. But they don’t get them addressed,” said Cindy Wallis of Galion, executive director of Community Counseling. “It’s either out of cost or out of fear. A lot of clients who come in are so afraid, they think they are being judged. But if our staff already have a relationship with a patient, they can come back here and do a warm hand-off with that patient and tell them that these people are safe.“
Galion’s Connections Weekend went off without a hitch. Events included a Thursday bonfire, a career day at Galion Middle School and the homecoming game on Friday night. Alumni cheerleaders and band members performed before and during the game. Activities continued Saturday morning with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at Galion Intermediate School. The annual hall of fame dinner and induction program was Saturday evening. Included: Harold “Tubby” Garverick (Class of 1955), Harry Garverick (1956), James Garverick (1960), Jerry James (1944), Ken Jarvis (1965), Joe Kleinknecht (1960), Kellie Rowland (1977), Vicki Trapp (1979) and Kyle Zeuch (2003). The GHS homecoming dance also was Saturday evening.
The first Galion’ Big Four Depot Fall Festival was deemed a success by director Dave Moore, despite unusually chilly weather. The aroma of kettle corn being popped filled the air as Galion Youth Cheerleaders entertained a morning crowd. Later, the Eagle Dance Competition Team put on a show. The Crazy Gringos and others also entertained. Visitors toured the depot building, painted pumpkins and munch on food from food trucks that lined the parking lot. “We had a good turnout for our first year,” Moore said. “Everyone there liked it and had a lot of fun.”
The Galion Port Authority held its inaugural meeting Oct. 22 Members are Chris Cochran, Gary Frankhouse, Debra Garverick, Chanel Hipp, Eric Kent, Chad Miller, and Rod Staiger. Hipp was voted chairperson and Frankhouse was appointed vice-chairperson. Miller will serve as secretary on an interim basis.
Galion senior Braxton Tate ended his high school cross country seasonwith his third straight trip to the State Cross Country Meet. “It feels real good to give it a third shot,” Tate said before the race. “Each season I’ve improved and I look forward to the competition.” As a sophomore in 2017, Tate finished in 16:55.8, good for 57th place. In 2018, his time was 16:33.7, good for ninth place, and an All-Ohio nod. Last year, he placed third, with a time of 15:45.8.
Also, an ultra successful volleyball season ended for the Lady Tigers. They fell one game short of the Elite Eight, falling to then No. 1 ranked Ottawa-Glandorf 25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 25-8 in a regional semifinal. The Lady Tigers ended the year with a 24-2 record.
Galion’s football season also was ended by Ottawa-Glandorf, 28-17 in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers finished the season at 8-3 and was second to Shelby in the MOAC standings.
Ohio Highway Patrol trooper Tanner Guinther was the 2019 Trooper of the Year at the Ashland Post. Guinther, 24, is a 2013 graduate of Galion High School. His selection was in recognition of outstanding service during the 2019 calendar year at the Ashland Post. Fellow officers stationed at the Ashland Post, elected Trooper Guinther based on his leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude, and cooperation with supervisors, peers, and the public.
For the sixth year, The Community Foundation for Crawford County had its annual fundraiser, #Giving2sday. “This was our best year yet,” said Jennifer Stirm, a foundation board member and chair of foundation’s development committee. “Donors like knowing that their gift inspired a second one, as our board set aside $25,000 to distribute to our participating funds on a pro-rated basis. Crawford County may have a small population, but it is large when it comes to generosity!” The preliminary tally of $177,400 which donors raised combined with the Foundation Board’s commitment means that $202,400 is being distributed to good causes in Crawford County.
Also in December, a some furry friends made an impromptu appearance at Magnolia Terrace Assisted Living Facility on North Market Street. Michelle Kubishke and Justin Furmanek, from the Watering Hole Safari in Port Clinton, brought with them two goats, a miniature cow and a llama and allowed residents a chance to do a little cuddling. This was their first time at an assisted living facility. “Look at the smiles on their faces,” said Alcore vice president Chris Schott. Alcore operates Magnolia Terrace. “We see reactions like this a lot, but it’s always like the first time seeing it. It’s really a gift.”
The Come Home to Galion Christmas celebration in December was made complete with the arrival of Santa Claus in a grand parade before a cheery tree lighting ceremony on the square. Hundreds of people lined the street, taking in the sights and sounds of a parade featuring bands, floats and other seasonal highlights. Miranda Jones, Come Home to Galion event co-coordinator, said there were 32 entries in the parade, about average for the holiday program. Jones was announcing the parade on the square and said there wasn’t a spot to be had because so many people packed the parade route. “It was great,” she said. “The sun was shining and it was a little chilly, but there were people everywhere.”
Three registered nurses at Avita Health System were honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Also, for the first time ever, one nurse earned The Nurse Leader Award. The awards are part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize nurses for the extraordinary, compassionate care they provide patients and families daily.
The DAISY Award winners were Anah Dubusky of Galion Hospital; Wanda Bland of Bucyrus Hospital; and Alisha Baker of Ontario Hospital. Jane Wood, of Galion, was presented a special honor — the Nurse Leader Award — which is given to managers and directors who create an environment where compassionate care thrives.
On Christmas Day, we reported on the adopt-a-family program orchestrated by the Galion High School National Honor Society. The students made life a little merrier for area residents by adopting four families. “National Honor Society seeks to groom students to be well-rounded leaders in the future,” said Tina Eyster,who has been in charge of the program for six years. “Real leaders, of course, have to know how to manage themselves, but they also have to know how to care about and for other people. This project not only fosters compassion, it fosters teamwork and camaraderie among members.”
We also attended a Christmas party at Mill Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Galion. Santa Claus paid an early visit, spreading Christmas cheer and handing out presents.The annual holiday party is a tradition that has grown over the years. Residents look forward to the gathering and a chance to spend time with family and friends. Wanda Gantz, dietary manager at Mill Creek, said there are 63 residents at Mill Creek and between family members and staff, they all get a gift from Santa. Mill Creek staff also supplied the Christmas goodies. She said the party is a lot of fun, because Christmas has been a part of the residents’ lives forever and this a way to ensure they still can celebrate the holiday.
The playground at Heise Park became a little closer to fruition in October is new equipment was installed amid work on the new play area. The playground — paid for with Freese Foundation funds — pays homage to Galion’s manufacturing past. There is a big grader, pictured above, and other toys cleverly designed to look like road equipment built in Galion. Street lights also are being installed around the play area and grass has been planted. The play area officially opened for business in November.
Reilly McCane shows off the pumpkin he painted Oct. 12 during the Fall Festival presented by Friends of the Big Four Depot. It included food, music, entertainment and crafts. Organizers are hoping for warmer weather and are planning to add more events in 2020.
Galion’s Braxton Tate heads for the finish line last November at the state cross country meet. He placed third in the Division III race.
Galion’s volleyball team saw a 21-match winning streak snapped as their season came to an end against the Ottawa-Glandorf Lady Titans. The Tigers fell in four sets to the top-ranked team in Division III, tending the year at 24-2.
Galion’s Roger L. Willis speaks to the crowd Monday night in Bucyrus during the Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame program at the high school. Willis was one of seven county residents inducted. He is a 1967 Galion High School graduate who served in Vietnam. He also was the owner of Zips Ice Cream on the square in Galion during the 1980s. See more photos from the program in our online gallery at www.galioninquirer.com
Zane Wynn, 2, munches on some pancakes last Saturday morning during three Breakfasts with Santa at the Come Home to Galion celebration. The breakfasts were sponsored by Friends of the Big Four Depot and Depot Inc. See more photos from the celebration in our online galleries at www.galioninquirer.com